'Art' returns with same cast at Theatre Workshop

Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2014, 12:11 pm
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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com
QC Theatre Workshop will present the Tony Award-winning comedy "Art" tonight through Aug. 30 with the same three-man cast as the one-act play did in a 2010 Curtainbox Theatre production -- Adam Michael Lewis, Aaron Randolph III and Mike Schulz.

"At the Workshop, we are incredibly lucky to attract such stellar performers show after show, and these guys were all eager to reunite," said QCTW artistic director Tyson Danner, who directs the new version. "I can't wait for our audiences to see what a riot they will be."

"I am glad we can offer this play to our community again," he said. "Having been out of the area during the previous production, I'm looking forward to leading the production with a fresh perspective. Plus, 'Art' will take place exactly two years after our first production, and it couldn't be a better match. I love that we get the chance to produce this comedic flip-side of 'Red.' "

QCTW debuted in August 2012 at the former Johnson School gym, 1730 Wilkes Ave., with John Logan's Tony-winning "Red," about the 20th-century abstract artist Mark Rothko, played by Mr. Schulz.

Translated by Oscar winner Christopher Hampton from the original 1994 French play by Yasmina Reza, "Art" -- which won the 1998 Tony for Best Play -- is a "biting and hilarious exploration of male camaraderie, competitiveness, and ego," Mr. Danner said in a release.

It revolves around the purchase of a large white painting, with white lines, that threatens the relationship of three longtime friends: Serge, who can't grasp his pals' disapproval of his new artwork; Marc, who can't fathom the $200,000 purchase of an all-white painting; and Yvan, who can't understand why everyone can't just get along.

Mr. Danner said "Art" won't just be a remount of a previous production.

"The three guys have a really established relationship with each other. I see myself as being able to put a different and fresh perspective on it," he said. "Even with the same casting, a show is never the same twice.

"With smart actors, really into the characters and into the show, their performance isn't the same each time anyway," Mr. Danner said. "It all depends what you're given -- from other actors, what the audience gives you. It creates a different show."

A Dispatch/Argus review of the 2010 production said: "Mr. Schulz, Mr. Lewis and Mr. Randolph are simply sensational and immediately draw you into their predicaments. Their magnetic, blazing talent comes through not only in the mastery and natural timing of their voluminous rapid-fire dialogue, but in the equally telling facial expressions when they don't say a word."

As with the Workshop's previous productions, "Art" will be presented under the company's popular "Pay What It's Worth" policy, which allows patrons to determine their own ticket prices following each performance.

The performance times are 7:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday, Aug. 22, 23, 29 and 30, and 3 p.m. this Sunday and Aug. 24. For more information on the Workshop, visit QCTheatreWorkshop.org.


Local events heading

  Today is Sunday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2014. There are 101 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We hear that Col. Reynolds has employed C.D. Merrill to drill for water to supply the Rock Island Barracks.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Billy Catton, famous billard player, returned to Rock Island with a view to making this city his home in the future.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The belief is growing that a great decisive battle of the World War was being fought at Verdun, a strong fortress of France on the Meuse near the French frontier, according to a London dispatch.
1939 -- 75 years ago: William Stremmel, 91, Rock Island's last Civil War veteran, died.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Workmen of the Midwest Wrecking Co., Clinton, have begun razing the historic old office building of Deere & Co., 1325 3rd Ave., Moline. The site will be used by the Deere Plow Works for its shipping and receiving department.
1989 -- 25 years ago: East Moline developer Jim Massa says the financial package for the proposed $34.5 million Quad City International Motor Speedway is down to making sure "all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Finalizing this will give the green light to see if NASCAR and CART, the auto racing sanctioning bodies, approve race dates.

(More History)